Activities for Teaching the Soil Layers
This week we are learning about the different layers of soil!
What is soil?
Soil is the part of the earth’s surface comprised of disintegrated rock and humus that provides the medium for plant growth. The development of soil takes time, between hundreds and thousands of years, and consists of diverse materials which are both inorganic and organic.
The inorganic materials are the non-living aspects of the soil such as minerals and rocks while the organic materials are the living aspects of the soil such as the soil micro-organisms. The process of soil formation is through the rock cycle together with the integration of soil microbial and chemical activities originating from living organisms. (See More Here)
Here are the 4 layers:
Topsoil - The thin rich top layer of soil where most nutrients for plants are found.
Subsoil- Made of sand, silt, and clay that hasn't been broken down all the way.
Parent Material - Mostly rock that has been weathered. Not many things down here except for the biggest tree roots!
Bedrock- The lowest layer of soil, it is all rock.
Why is soil important?
Topsoil is very important for life. As you can see in the picture, plants and animals depend on topsoil. Good topsoil is usually a dark color.
Soil is essential for life because it provides the medium for plant growth, acts a filtration system for surface water, maintains the balance of atmospheric gases, stores carbon, and is a habitat for several organisms.
We decided to further explore the soil layers by doing a fun dessert activity!
First, we headed to the store to find the perfect ingredients to develop our layers:
Grass or the Hummus - Green Sprinkles
Topsoil - Crushed Oreos
Subsoil - Chocolate Pudding
Parent Material - Crushed Hershey Bars
Bedrock - Chocolate Chips
and of course soil loving Gummy Worms!!
They found that using their pumpkins made crushing the Oreos a lot easier!
Chocolate Chip Bedrock Layer
Crushed Hershey Bar Parent Material Layer